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Preparing for a Public Consultation (in-house)

CPD/APC Credits: 30


In recent years, the pre-consultation period has become increasingly important and is now seen as a critical stage in a best practice exercise. It is a difficult stage to negotiate properly and many consultations have suffered because mistakes were made at this time.

This one-day course tackles challenging issues through a worked example to illustrate potential pitfalls; it provides delegates with solid techniques to arrive at well-considered options and a properly organised exercise.

Who is it for?

Ideal for consultation professionals who have a good general understanding of public engagement & consultation or public policy and want to learn more about pre-consultation best practice.

Course Aims

  • To equip participants to conduct the full range of preparatory activities to ensure a robust public consultation process, building upon the Institute’s experience of pre-consultation best practice.
  • To demonstrate effective ways to secure meaningful engagement of citizens and stakeholder organisations in the pre-consultation phase, using a fully-worked example of a consultation affecting thousands of people and local communities.
  • To illustrate the practical application of an Options Assessment and Scoring methodology
  • To provide participants with the know-how and confidence to make a bigger contribution to the development of proposals for public consultation.

Key Learning Points

  • How to identify and understand stakeholders using the tried-and-tested techniques of stakeholder mapping.
  • The use of Issues Papers to scope a consultation and identify those who wish to be involved in solutions development
  • How to assess and score possible solutions as part of the options development process

Detailed Content

The Course will include the following:

  • Welcome, Introduction and Roundtable
  • Jargon-buster and definitions
  • Assessing risks
  • The Consultation Mandate
  • Stakeholder identification & profile
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Pre-consultation Issues papers
  • Forms of Stakeholder participation
  • Options development: long-list to short-list
  • Determining assessment criteria; who is in the Room?
  • Options Assessment & scoring
  • Developing an Outline Narrative
  • Project Timeline

The Course is highly interactive using brainstorming, individual, group and plenary exercises to gather participants’ ideas, experience and challenges as part of the learning process. As in other Institute training courses, the use of a realistic scenario illustrates the issues arising in the day-to-day lives of communications/engagement staff as well as consultation specialists.

The companion Course, Conducting a Public Consultation, is a seamless follow-up. It uses the same worked example and focuses on the formal consultation based upon the options developed in Preparing for a Public Consultation.

There can be advantages in attending both in rapid succession and the Institute can offer a two-day, back-to-back package for in-house delivery.

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